ad hoc brownie recipe

Rich Cocoa Brownies ("Ad Hoc")

Lightly-sweet and chocolatey, Thomas Keller's rich cocoa brownies (Ad Hoc) are an indulgent treat.
As per the original recipe, the brownie mix can be prepared up to a week ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Adapted, in language and procedure, from Thomas Keller, Ad Hoc At Home
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 to 16 brownies
Calories 362kcal
Author Amanda Biddle


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder , "Dutch-process"
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips *
  • Powdered sugar , for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Butter a 9-inch baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides of the pan. Lightly butter the parchment.**
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Melt half of the butter (1-1/2 sticks) in the microwave or a small saucepan on the stove. Place the remaining 1-1/2 sticks of butter in a medium bowl and pour melted butter over them, stirring until almost all of the butter is melted. The mixture will become creamy in appearance. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick and pale in color. With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted cocoa mixture and melted butter in three additions each, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients. Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay). If the tester emerges coated, test again, as you might've inserted it into a pocket of melted chocolate.
  • Remove pan to a wire rack and cool 20 minutes. Using parchment overhang, remove brownies from pan to a cutting board and slice into 16 squares, or 12 rectangles. Dust with powdered sugar and serve slightly warm.***


*The original recipe calls for a block of chocolate, cut into chip-sized pieces. Each time I've made this recipe, I've used quality chocolate chips with excellent results.
**Thomas Keller uses a 9-inch silicone baking mold. If using silicone, there's no need to butter the mold and line with parchment. Brownies baked in a metal or glass pan will have crisper edge pieces.
***For the best texture, it's important to not over-bake the brownies. Baking until the tester is totally clean in the center will result in dry brownies.


Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2.4mg